Another month, another milestone for master pivoter Jason Goldberg and his go-go daily deals for design startup, Fab. Today, the company announced that it has acquired Casacanda, a Berlin-based flash sales company. Along with the acquisition, Casacanda will relaunch as as Fab.de, serving Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
Last November ccTLDInvestors, “the online magazine for global domain investors” noted that a company called Sedo made a tidy profit by selling Fab.de for $50,000. That same week, Fab also purchased Fab.eu for 35,000 Euros, so expect more updates for Fab’s fabulous European adventure.
According to Mr. Goldberg, Casacanda has been on something of a roll. The site has 250,000 members and grew by 90,000 in just the last 30 days. Add that to Fab’s existing membership, and the company has won over more than 2.3 million users in the past 8 months.
Mr. Goldberg dropped a few clues about international expansion at the end of January when he celebrated hitting the 2 million member mark. For a startup that boosted its valuation by a $175 million in six months, it makes sense to leap across the Atlantic in search of continued growth. The search for new verticals and markets to sustain growth is something other flash sales sites, like Gilt Groupe, which recently laid off 10 percent of its staff, have struggled with as well. As Mr. Goldberg tells it, going global was part of Fab’s plan all along:
As early as October 2011 when we were just 5 months old, we began thinking and strategizing about which markets we would bring the Fab model to next. We quickly honed in on Germany, and Berlin in particular, as being the first major Fab center outside of the U.S. It’s a natural first-choice; the German economy is strong, Berlin is an awesome startup hub, and the German people have deep rooted passion for design and the types of products we sell on Fab. In fact, the stuff we sell every day on Fab drives a lot of inspiration from German design and many of the Fab products are very similar to what you might find in the boutiques and shops of German cities such as Cologne, Stuttgart, Hamburg, and Berlin.
We did a study of the German market in October and November and went through a decision process of whether to build or acquire. In early December we took a trip to Berlin and met with a few potential partners to explore launching Fab in Germany. Of all the teams and people we met with in Berlin, we were far and away most impressed with the founders and team at Casacanda. We returned to Berlin in January and spent even more time with Casacanda to figure out if it was a good match. It was, and then some. Casacanda’s CEO, Roman Kirsch, is a true superstar. That guy is so impressive that I immediately wanted him on team Fab. Watch out for Roman.
By Mr. Goldberg’s estimates, this acquisition will enable Fab to generate at least 10 to 20 percent of its overall revenue from international sales this year. Hey, Andreessen Horowitz doesn’t“plow” $40 million into an eight-month old startup without thinking about the bigger picture.